Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Intelligent help in Virtual 8085

The intellisense feature of the Visual Studio IDE from Microsoft is one of the most talked feature that ensures easy and faster development of programs. When we gave an introductory presentation last Saturday, one of our college teachers suggested to include such feature in Virtual 8085. In my opinion, it is quite a difficult task to achieve. First of all, we have to scan whatever the user has entered, and then look up the instruction's help and load it. After about a day's work I gained some success regarding this.
(Intelligent Help showing help for the current line being edited)

I did not scan the whole text the user had input through the text box. What I did was just to scan the line the user is editing. When the line is scanned, we have to split it into three parts viz. Label, Mnemonic, Operands. If you know, an assembly language instruction may contain a label, a mnemonic, and operands. Now when the line is split into components, only the Mnemonic is of interest to us right now, because the help we will provide is only related to the mnemonic. We have another rich text box to show the help. We have to load the help file (.rtf) of that mnemonic into the rich text box. The name of the help file is the same as the mnemonic, like if the mnemonic is MOV then its help file would be MOV.rtf.

This made my task easy, I just had to load the file whose name is [MNEMONIC].rtf, if the file is not found then just clear the rich text box.
(Intelligent help code)
At some other time I will explain thoroughly how I achieved this.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Project Introduction


Virtual 8085 is a small project which aims to provide students and teachers a software which would behave the same as Intel 8085 microprocessor. It means that you could run all your programs written in the 8085 assembly language on Virtual 8085. As the name suggests, Virtual 8085 simulates the real 8085 microprocessor IC. Plus Virtual 8085 will have IDE like features of providing help for specific instruction, a step by step execution environment, and loads of features. Thus it will lead to a comprehensive learning of the 8085 assembly language, which of course forms the basis of learning assembly language programming. Virtual 8085 is basically an interpreter which interprets programs written in the 8085 assembly language.

And the most exciting thing about the project is that, after it gets completed we will be publishing as a free and open source software.

This project is just in its concepts, the actual development has just begun. The language of development is VB.NET. We are a group of five people creating this software as a college mini project. Last Saturday, we gave an introductory presentation to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Priyadarshini Institute of Engineering and Technology (our college).

The main purpose of this blog is to make people aware about the development of our project, I guess our posts may help many people. I am embedding the slideshow of the presentation we gave last saturday,